Happy Wednesday friends :)
How was everyone’s Easter weekend?
Mine was amazing- I cannot say enough good things about Prague. I loved it so much! I took 160 pictures in 2 and a half days, because it was just so pretty. As such, I will try not to drown everyone in pictures. But honestly- if you have a chance to go to Prague, I highly recommend!
Assen and I flew out Thursday night, and by the time we arrived at the AirBnB place we were staying at, it was almost 2 am. So we went to bed, and had no exploring that day. We’ve both been working a lot lately, so we had decided early on that the focus of this trip was to relax. Therefore- no alarms! It unfortunately meant that the first day we actually had to explore, we didn’t leave the flat until about 1 pm. However, we made up for it.
Our first stop, was the Old Town Square, where there is a 15th century astrological clock, and an Easter market.
I could not stop taking pictures of the below church, which is the Church of our Lady before Tyn, and in the square. Something about the top made me think of a Disney movie castle (even though it is a church, not a castle).
The clock, below, is the oldest working astrological clock in the world. When you read about things to do and see in Prague, it’s almost always listed as the first thing to see. We wandered by it (and came back at 8 pm, more on that below) but honestly, after looking at it for about 30 seconds, I was ready to move on for more sites.
Before heading to Prague, I had read that it is one of the most touristy parts of Europe. And after being there, I can definitely identify with that. The crowds in Prague were pretty crazy. I’m glad we were there for Easter and not during high tourist season, as I can’t imagine how crazy the crowds must be in the middle of the summer. It was a bit cold (definitely needed a warm jacket on the first day) but we spent a lot of our time outdoors and walking, and it was generally ok. I was glad to be there with fewer people, and just needing a jacket to be able to see everything that I wanted.
We ended up wandering around the old town for quite some time, just stopping into shops. Prague seemed to have candy everywhere, including the below “treasure chest” candy store. I spent way too much money on candy there, and had a sugar high for the rest of the weekend.
After the candy store, we wandered over to Charles Bridge. This is another stop that whenever you hear anything about Prague, it’s a “must-do”. The church was built in the 15th century, and there are 30 statues on the bridge (all replicas of the originals that were placed there in 1700). At one point it was the only bridge that connected the old town and Prague Castle, which I think is why it is so famous. Either way, it is beautiful.
Once across the bridge, we went and saw the Prague Castle. Which, to be honest, I think we missed some of the sites on this as the actual site is massive. When you first enter, there is a beautiful large cathedral, and then around it, there are many more courtyards and buildings. But to be fair, the Guiness book of world records does list the Prague Castle as the largest ancient castle in the world, so it makes sense that we would’ve got a bit lost while wandering around.
While wandering around Prague Castle, we came across a tourist spot which has you climb to the top of the tower for a viewpoint over the city. We paid our 150 Czech koruna (which is about 4 pounds each) to climb to the top. The stairs that you climbed went up in a very tight circle (going up and down, Assen and I had to stop and take a break as we were getting dizzy). It just continued to climb, and climb!
Despite being breathless, and having burning legs, the view from the top was stunning and absolutely worth it.
We also saw the changing of the guard, which I’ve been asked about a few times from other people who have previously been to Prague Castle. The picture below looks like I’m marching with them, but really what happened was that we chased them half way around the Prague castle grounds so we could try and get a picture, and I ran ahead of Assen to try and be in the photo with them.
At the end of us walking around Prague Castle, we wandered back over to Old Town (crossing another beautiful bridge), and decided that it was time to take a break. We found a little pub, and ordered a beer. Now, some of you may remember that I had said that I wasn’t a big beer fan, so wasn’t really anticipating much from the beer in Prague. However, I had several beers in Prague! The beer was really tasty. Maybe it was the pretzels that they placed on all the tables (still crunchy and salty, but massive pretzels) or maybe it was just that I was on holiday, but I enjoyed several beers over the course of the weekend.
After all the walking, the stairs, the incline (Prague castle is on top of a steep hill!), Assen and I went for a massage after our beers. Thai massage places were seemingly very popular there (if anyone knows why, I am really curious!), so we wandered in and opted for a 30 minute neck and shoulder message. It was one of the best massages ever! Simultaneously, one of the most painful, and most relaxing massages I have had in a very long time. Both of us needed those 30 minutes to just sit and enjoy.
Once we were done there, we wandered back into Old Town, as we had been told the 8 pm show at the astrological clock was amazing to see.
I want to find who told met this, as I can’t remember. If you are ever in Prague and see a big crowd gathering on the hour, just keep walking! I have no idea why this is a thing that people watch.
The doors open above the clock, and puppets go around in the circle for a little bit, and then the clock dings. It was so not worth the 20 minutes that we stood outside waiting for it to be 8 pm. I couldn’t stop laughing because I couldn’t believe that was what all the hype was about!
After the rather disappointing 8 pm show, Assen and I found a Czech restaurant and enjoyed some amazing food. I may do a separate post on country specific food, so I’ll save those pictures for another time, but the food in Prague was so good. I ate until I couldn’t eat anymore (and, had another beer with my dinner).
We called it an early night, and headed back to the place we were staying at after dinner. When we woke up the next day, the sun was shining and it was beautiful outside. Both of us were so excited that spring seemed like it was actually here!
The final “touristy” thing that I had wanted to do was to go to the Jewish quarter in Prague. One of the main sites to see is the cemetery. This is because it is the oldest surviving Jewish cemetery in Europe. They don’t know how many people are buried here, because the cemetery has layers (up to 12 layers). Apparently it is against the Jewish religion to remove a tombstone, so when they ran out of room, they would just add more soil and start again, which is why all the tombstones are so close together now. It’s very old, and sounded really interesting, along with seeing the synagogues, and just generally the history that is here.
Unfortunately, as I am not Jewish and neither is Assen, neither of us remembered that Saturday is Shabbat, which means everything is closed. And so when we showed up on Saturday, not a thing was open. And Passover was the next day, so it was all closed then as well. As such, we had missed our chance to actually see anything, which was a bit of a tourist fail. I managed to snap the below picture of the cemetery…
And then Assen took a picture of how I was standing to get the picture. But hey- at least I kind of got to see it, right?
We wandered around for a bit and then headed back to the Easter market in the old town. Everywhere we went we had been seeing these chimney cakes (which I continue to call tunnel cakes and Assen laughs at me). Everywhere we went, we saw them being roasted over coals, and they looked and smelt delicious. I had told Assen that I wanted to try one about 15 times, and when we got back to the Easter market, I finally did.
And then I had 2 more over the next 8 hours….cause they were delicious.
Unsure of what to do next, we wandered back towards the water, and found a little restaurant right on the water. Neither of us were hungry (I swear, all we did was eat), but we decided to sit in the sun, enjoy the day, and of course- have another beer :)
We sat and chatted, enjoying the sun, for so long that suddenly we realised we were about to be late. We had to run up to Prague Castle (remember how I said it was on a hill? I wanted to die- so many steps!)
The previous day we had purchased tickets to see the Prague Orchestra play in St George’s Basilica, which is the oldest church in Prague and part of the Prague castle. The Basilica was originally founded in 920, and was the perfect place to listen to a live orchestra play Vivaldi and Mozart. It was so beautiful to just sit and listen.
Every once and a while, on my travels, I have a moment where it kind of hits me that I’m off somewhere completely different, and experiencing something completely new. I had it when I first moved to the UK and was sat chatting with a girl from Australia, a girl from Scotland, and 2 guys from London; I had it the first time I had pasta in Italy; and I definitely had it while sitting in an old church, listening to the classical music in Prague.
The show itself was only about an hour long, so afterwards, we had an opportunity to wander along by the river, and enjoy the last bit of a beautiful day.
That night we headed out to a cocktail bar that had been recommended to us by our taxi driver when we first arrived. We had a few cocktails, and just chatted away until pretty late before wandering back to the flat.
Needless to say, the next day, we started the day a little later than planned. As it was our last day, and we had seen most of what we wanted to see, we really just took the opportunity to relax and enjoy a bit more downtime before we had to go. We wandered around a few shops, though neither of us bought anything, and tried to use the last of our Czech koruna (as they do not use Euro….despite what we previously thought and had pulled out before arriving there).
We ended our last day with a beer at the Easter market (and of course, a selfie).
It was truly a great weekend with activity, relaxing, and, a lot of food and beer. However, we also did our fair share of walking. I didn’t realise it beforehand, but on iPhones, there is an app called “Health” and it tracks your exercise. As such, I can now tell you that over the 2.5 days that Assen and I were in Prague, we walked a total of 40 km! So although we ate and drank, we also got our fair share of exercise :)
I hope everyone else had a great Easter weekend too! I’d love to hear if others have been to Prague, what they though. Also- what did everyone else get up to this weekend?